SC East Bengal (SCEB) came out of the shell of its limitations to hold a resurgent Hyderabad FC (HFC) to a 1-1 draw in an ISL fixture at Bambolim on Thursday.
SCEB went ahead early in the first half through a goal from Amir Dervisevic before Bartholomew Ogbeche produced the equaliser in the 36th-minute.
SCEB made a confident start and dominated the crucial moves in the midfield. This soon resulted in a goal putting the Red and Gold Brigade in the lead by the 20th minute. Earning a free-kick just outside the box, Dervisevic unleashed a rasping left-footer that had the defender in the Hyderabad wall ducking under. Hyderabad goalkeeper Laxmikant Kattimani got a hand on the ball but was undone by the power of the shot.
SCEB could not hold on to the lead long enough as Hyderabad doubled its effort to find the equaliser. The SCEB citadel fell in the 35th minute when Ogbeche nodded home a nice cross from Aniket Jadhav.
Raju Gaikwad also had a contribution in the equaliser as he mistimed his jump and failed to clear the cross allowing Ogbeche a free header.
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Manolo Diaz's men could have found the lead back in a 40th-minute counter-attack when Mohammad Rafique pounced on a loose ball with a thunderous shot just to find his powerful attempt coming off the framework.
Hyderabad’s usual rhythm in the attack was missing for a great part of the action as SCEB successfully spun a web of defence around it and blocked the access of the former’s wingers like Akash Mishra and Jadhav.
On the other hand, SC East Bengal created a few good opportunities on the break but could not utilise them chiefly because of the waywardness of its lone striker in Nigerian Chima Chukwu.
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